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Tickers in this Article: JOE, FSRV, JLL, WPC, HHC, SLG, BFS
The market is having a good day so far: the Nasdaq has risen 1.1%; the S&P 500 is trading up 0.6%; and the Dow has moved up 0.4%.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 1.1%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
St. Joe (NYSE:JOE).95 billion+8.9%
FirstService Corporation (Nasdaq:FSRV)9.3 million+5.6%
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL).51 billion+4.3%
W. P (NYSE:WPC).84 billion+3.8%
Howard (NYSE:HHC).68 billion+3%
SL Green (NYSE:SLG).54 billion+2.2%
Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS)5.6 million-2.1%
Forex Broker Summary: UFXMarkets

St. Joe (NYSE:JOE) has moved up 8.9% and is currently trading at $23.02 per share. At 497,580 shares, the company's volume so far today is one times the average daily volume. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. JOE has a high P/S ratio of 13.63. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. It is important to compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

FirstService Corporation (Nasdaq:FSRV) is currently trading at $28.68 per share, a 5.6% increase. The company is trading at a volume of 2,300 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 5,252 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. The debt ratio for FSRV is 81.1%, which is relatively high. This means that most of the company's assets are financed through debt. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

After rising 4.3%, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is currently trading at a share price of $83.15. The company's volume for the day so far is 371,132 shares, 1.4 times its current three-month average. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. A company's value as an investment is more easily estimated using valuation ratios such as the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. JLL's P/E ratio of 20.1 is above the industry average of 10.57. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

W. P (NYSE:WPC) is currently trading at $47.20 per share, a 3.8% increase. The company is currently trading a volume of 27,768 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. The D/E ratio for WPC is 83%. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

Howard (NYSE:HHC) is up 3% to reach a current price of $72.75 per share. At 71,435 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.9 times the average daily volume. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. A company's capitalization (not to be confused with its market capitalization) is the term used to describe the makeup of a company's permanent or long-term capital, which consists of both long-term debt and shareholders' equity. HHC has a low capitalization ratio of 22.7%. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

Increasing 2.2%, SL Green (NYSE:SLG) is trading at $85.41 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 184,372 shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in determining the value of a stock, but it is very important to keep in mind that while some financial ratios have general rules (or a broad application), in most instances it is a prudent practice to look at a company's historical performance and use peer company/industry comparisons to put any given company's ratio in perspective. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. SLG has a PEG ratio of 13.05. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Slipping 2.1%, Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) is currently trading at $44.29 per share. The company's volume is currently 16,392 shares for the day, 0.2 times the current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. BFS' P/B ratio of 11.5 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. Users need to be careful when applying this ratio though, as it is more useful for industrial companies that have a lot of tangible assets than it is for technology or consumer product companies that may not have much in the way of hard assets. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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